Useful Words and Phrases - 7th APCRSHR

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Useful Words and Phrases

PHILIPPINE TOURISM > Visiting the Philippines


Tagalog speakers in the Philippines have many ways of greeting other people. It is common also to hear them say "Hi" or "Hello" as a form of greeting, especially among close friends. There are no Tagalog translations for these English greetings because they are basically borrowed terms, and any English-speaking person will be readily understood by Filipinos in general (Yes, Virginia and Joe, English is widely spoken in the Philippines, a former colony of the US of A for nearly 50 years!). Below are a few Tagalog greetings that are importart to learn if one wants to endear himself/herself to Filipinos.

Magandang umaga po. (formal/polite) - Good morning
Magandang umaga. (informal) - Good morning

Magandang tanghali po. (formal/polite) - Good noon
Magandang tanghali. (informal) - Good noon

Magandang hapon po. (formal/polite) - Good afternoon
Magandang hapon. (informal) - Good afternoon

Magandang gabi po. (formal/polite) - Good evening
Magandang gabi. (informal) - Good evening

Kumusta po kayo? (formal/polite) - How are you?
Kumusta ka? (informal) - How are you?

Mabuti po naman. (formal/polite) - I'm fine
Mabuti naman. (informal) - I'm fine

Tuloy po kayo. (formal/polite) - Please, come in
Tuloy. (informal) - Please, come in

Salamat po. (formal/polite) - Thank you
Salamat. (informal) - Thank you

Maraming salamat po. (formal/polite) - Thank you very much
Maraming salamat. (informal) - Thank you very much

Wala pong anuman. (formal/polite) - You are welcome
Walang anuman. (informal) - You are welcome

Opo/ oho. (formal/polite) - Yes
Oo (informal) - Yes

Hindi po/ho (formal/polite) - No
Hindi (informal) - No

Hindi ko po/ho alam. (formal/polite) - I don't know
Hindi ko alam. (informal) - I don't know

Anong oras na po? (formal/polite) - What time is it?
Anong oras na? (informal) - What time is it?

Saan po kayo papunta? (formal/polite) - Where are you going?
Saan ka papunta? (informal) - Where are you going?

Saan po kayo galing? (formal/polite) - Where did you come from?
Saan ka galing? (informal) - Where did you come from?

Ano po ang pangalan nila? (formal/polite) - What is your name?
Anong pangalan mo? (informal) - What is your name?

Ako po si ________ (formal/polite) - I am ______ (name).
Ako si _________ (informal) - I am ______ (name).

Ilang taon na po kayo? (formal/polite) - How old are you?
Ilang taon ka na? (informal) - How old are you?

Ako po ay _______ gulang na. (formal/polite) - I am _______ years old.
Ako ay _______ gulang na. (informal) - I am _______ years old.

Saan po kayo nakatira? (formal/polite) - Where do you live?
Saan ka nakatira? (informal) - Where do you live?

Taga saan po sila? (formal/polite) - Where are you from?
Taga saan ka? (informal) - Where are you from?

Kumain na po ba sila? (formal/polite) - Have you eaten yet?
Kumain ka na ba? (informal) - Have you eaten yet?


Below is a list of Tagalog words and phrases used in giving or asking for directions.

deretso - straight ahead
(sa) kanan - on the right
(sa) kaliwa - on the left
umikot - turn around
(sa) harap - in front
(sa) likod/likuran - at the back/behind
hilaga - north
silangan - east
kanluran - west
timog - south
(sa) itaas - on top
(sa) ibaba - below/at the bottom
(sa) ilalim - at the bottom
(sa) loob - inside
(sa) labas - outside

There are a number of Tagalog words and phrases which are rather vague in terms of specific distance but signify "nearness" or "farness" of a particular object, thing, or place from the speaker. These are:

doon - yonder (over there)
diyan lang po sa tabi - there, on that side
sa banda po doon - over on that side


Below is a list of Tagalog question words with their corresponding meanings and examples in English.

Ano? - What?
Alin? - Which?
Sino? - Who?
Saan? - Where?
Bakit? - Why?
Kailan? - When?
Paano?/Papaano? - How?
Magkano? - How much? (money)
Nasaan? - Where? (to look for something/somebody)

From the website of the Department of Tourism

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